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Events

‘The Hippy Trail: A History’ with Sharif Gemie
Wednesday 6th December, 7pm
Read more...

‘The Mainstreaming Of The Far-Right’ with Julia Ebner and Paul Stocker
Thursday 7th December, 7pm
Read more...

‘Not here: a queer anthology of loneliness’ with Richard Dodwell, Timothy Thornton, Verity Spott and Bertie Marshall
Wednesday 13th December, 7pm
Read more...

‘The Digital Critic:
Literary Culture Online’
with Houman Barekat, Joanna Walsh and Robert Barry
Wednesday 10th January, 7pm
Read more...

‘The New Poverty’
with Stephen Armstrong
Wednesday 17th January, 7pm
Read more...

‘Tear Gas:
From the Battlefields of WWI to the Streets of Today’
with Anna Feigenbaum
Wednesday 31st January, 7pm
Read more...

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IN-STORE EVENTS at HOUSMANS

We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.

‘The Hippy Trail: A History’ with Sharif Gemie
Wednesday 6th December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Dr Sharif Gemie presents his history of the 60s/70s Hippy Trail, and considers the trail in respect to counterculture, drugs, sexual liberation, tourism, pilgrimage and media representation. 

This is the first history of the Hippie Trail. It records the joys and pains of budget travel to Kathmandu, India, Afghanistan and other 'points east' in the 1960s and 1970s. Written in a clear, simple style, it provides detailed analysis of the motivations and the experiences of hundreds of thousands of hippies who travelled eastwards.

The book is structured around four key debates: were the travellers simply motivated by a search for drugs? Did they encounter love or sexual freedom on the road? Were they basically just tourists? Did they resemble pilgrims? It also considers how the travellers have been represented in films, novels and autobiographical accounts.

About the Author

Dr Sharif Gemie is a historian of modern Europe. He has mainly researched on minority peoples, including refugees, Muslims in Europe, Bretons and Galicians. 

‘The Mainstreaming Of The Far-Right’
with Julia Ebner and Paul Stocker
Thursday 7th December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In his book ‘English Uprising Brexit And The Mainstreaming Of The Far-Right’ (Melville House, 2017), Paul Stocker examines how ideas of the far right - always a fringe movement in Britain - have become part of the cultural and political mainstream, especially via a noxious right-wing press, and how these issues are not unique to Britain. Rather, the growth of far-right populism is a Western phenomenon and one with trends which can be witnessed in several European countries, as well as the United States.

He will be in discussion with Julia Ebner, author of ‘The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far Right Extremism’, which explores the interaction between the "new" far right and Islamist extremists and considers the consequences for the global terror threat.

Julia argues that far right and Islamist extremist narratives – "The West is at war with Islam" and "Muslims are at war with the West" - complement each other perfectly, making the two extremes rhetorical allies and building a spiralling torrent of hatred - The Rage. By looking at extremist movements both online and offline, she shows how far right and Islamist extremists have succeeded in penetrating each other's echo chambers as a result of their mutually useful messages.

About the Authors

Julia Ebner is a terrorism and extremism researcher based in London. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and a Global Fellow at the Project for the Study of the 21st Century. She spent two years working for the world’s first counter-extremism organisation Quilliam, where she led research projects on terrorism prevention for the European Commission and the Kofi Annan Foundation and gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on far-right extremism. In her role as the coordinator of the pan-European network Families Against Terrorism and Extremism (FATE), she carried out radicalisation prevention projects across Europe and North Africa.

Paul Stocker has a doctorate in British far-right history at Teesside University. Based in the Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies, he has published research on the history of far-right and fascist movements in Britain from the 1920s until the 1960s. He lives in London and this is his first book.

LOCOMOTRIX EVENT
‘Not here: a queer anthology of loneliness’ with Richard Dodwell, Timothy Thornton, Verity Spott and
Bertie Marshall
Wednesday 13th December, 7pm
Tickets in advance essential, available here from Billetto

What does it mean to be lonely? 31 contemporary artists, poets and performers including Olivia Laing, Colby Keller, Timothy Thornton, Marc Hundley, Alice Goodman, Verity Spott, Charlie Porter and David Hoyle consider the queer experience of loneliness in the debut publication from Pilot Press.

Founded in London by Richard Dodwell, Pilot Press aims to shed new light on contemporary queer lives.   

For this event at Housmans, Richard Dodwell will be joined by Timothy Thornton ('Controlled Explosions' Penguin Modern Poets, PLANES, Yard Theatre) and Verity Spott (Click Away Close Door Say, Contraband Books, TRANS* MANIFESTOS, Shit Valley) for an evening of readings, chit chat and things that are nice mulled. 

Reviews

'In words and pictures, Not here is the rainbow of queer loneliness: alive, angry, despairing, enquiring, humane' - Niven Govinden, author 

About the Speakers and Contributors

Richard Dodwell is an artist, performer and the founder of Pilot Press. He is based in London, UK. 

Timothy Thornton does queer writing which is usually about ghosts, foxes, cities, and the sea. He is based in Brighton, UK. 

Verity Spott is a poet, musician and, a quick Google will tell you, attends Roedean School and achieved 9 SATS. She is based in Brighton, UK. 

’The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online’ with Houman Barekat, Joanna Walsh and Robert Barry
Wednesday 10th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Our guests take stock of the so-called Literary Internet up to the present moment, and considers the future of criticism: its promise, its threats of decline, and its potential mutation, in a world of Facebook likes, Twitter wars, and Amazon book reviews.nbsp;

What do we think of when we think of literary critics? Enlightenment snobs in powdered wigs? Professional experts? Cloistered academics? Through the end of the 20th century, book review columns and literary magazines held onto an evolving but stable critical paradigm, premised on expertise, objectivity, and carefully measured response. And then the Internet happened.

From the editors of Review 31 and 3:AM Magazine, The Digital Critic (OR Books, 2017) brings together a diverse group of perspectives—early-adopters, Internet skeptics, bloggers, novelists, editors, and others—to address the future of literature and scholarship in a world of Facebook likes, Twitter wars, and Amazon book reviews. It takes stock of the so-called Literary Internet up to the present moment, and considers the future of criticism: its promise, its threats of decline, and its mutation, perhaps, into something else entirely.

With contributions from Robert Barry, Russell Bennetts, Michael Bhaskar, Louis Bury, Lauren Elkin, Scott Esposito, Marc Farrant, Orit Gat, Thea Hawlin, Ellen Jones, Anna Kiernan, Luke Neima, Will Self, Jonathon Sturgeon, Sara Veale, Laura Waddell, and Joanna Walsh.

About the Speakers

Houman Barekat reviews for the TLS, Literary Review, the Irish Times, Prospect and the London Magazine, and contributes to online journals including 3:AM, Full Stop and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the founder and managing editor of the online literary journal Review 31.

Joana Walsh is a writer and illustrator. Her work has been published by Granta, Tate, The London Review of Books, The White Review and others. Her story collection, Fractals, is published by 3:AM Press

Robert Barry writes for publications such as The Wire, Frieze, The Atlantic Monthly, BBC Music, Fact, The Quietus, Thump, Wired, and Art Review. He is the visual art editor at The Quietus and technology and digital culture editor at Review 31.

’The New Poverty’ with Stephen Armstrong
Wednesday 17th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

We are living in an age with unprecedented levels of poverty. Stephen Armstrong travels across Britain to tell the stories of those who are most vulnerable, betrayed by the retreat of the welfare state and considers what we can do to stop the destruction of our welfare state.

We are living in an age with unprecedented levels of poverty. Who are the new poor? And what can we do about it?

Today 13 million people are living in poverty in the UK. According to a 2017 report, 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line. The new poor, however, are an even larger group than these official figures suggest. They are more often than not in work, living precariously and betrayed by austerity policies that make affordable good quality housing, good health and secure employment increasingly unimaginable.

In The New Poverty investigative journalist Stephen Armstrong travels across Britain to tell the stories of those who are most vulnerable. It is the story of an unreported Britain, abandoned by politicians and betrayed by the retreat of the welfare state. As benefit cuts continue and in-work poverty soars, he asks what long-term impact this will have on post-Brexit Britain and—on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the 1942 Beveridge report—what we can do to stop the destruction of our welfare state.

Reviews

“Armstrong has gone to Wigan to expose a situation with depressing echoes of Orwell’s day: huge inequalities of wealth, comfort and life chances unaddressed by a government composed of distant, unsympathetic plutocrats and public schoolboys … The reasons for this apparent social shift, this new, ugly, public face of a lumpen proletariat Orwell rarely encountered, are many and complex. Most of them are surveyed in this forceful book. It is powerful stuff.” – Stuart Maconie, Guardian

“Back in 1936, Orwell asked why people should live in poverty and despair in one of the richest countries in the world? Now, as this book shows, the cold hand of poverty is back. It is time to ask this government the same question: Why?” – Mirror

“Defines the state of the nation.” – Big Issue

“Stephen Armstrong's The New Poverty is a hard hitting expose of the problems and suffering of people who are at the lower end of the pay scale and therefore at the mercy of those who wish to take advantage. This book is very much in the mould of George Orwell's The Road To Wigan Pier and makes for uneasy, but essential reading.” – Richard Blair, Patron of the Orwell Society

About the Author

Stephen Armstrong is a journalist and author. He writes extensively for the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian. He also appears occasionally on Radio 4 and Radio 2. His books include War PLC, The Super-Rich Shall Inherit the Earth and The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited.

’Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of WWI to the Streets of Today’ with Anna Feigenbaum
Wednesday 31st January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

An engrossing century-spanning narrative, Tear Gas is the first history of this weapon, and takes us from military labs and chemical weapons expos to union assemblies and protest camps, drawing on declassified reports and witness testimonies to show how policing with poison came to be.

The story of how a chemical weapon went from the battlefield to the streets.

One hundred years ago, French troops fired tear gas grenades into German trenches. Designed to force people out from behind barricades and trenches, tear gas causes burning of the eyes and skin, tearing, and gagging. Chemical weapons are now banned from war zones. But today, tear gas has become the most commonly used form of “less-lethal” police force. In 2011, the year that protests exploded from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, tear gas sales tripled. Most tear gas is produced in the United States, and many images of protestors in Tahrir Square showed tear gas canisters with “Made in USA” printed on them, while Britain continues to sell tear gas to countries on its own human rights blacklist.

An engrossing century-spanning narrative, Tear Gas (Verso, 2017) is the first history of this weapon, and takes us from military labs and chemical weapons expos to union assemblies and protest camps, drawing on declassified reports and witness testimonies to show how policing with poison came to be.

Reviews

“A vivid history of the time and also - as good radical accounts should be - a source of encouragement to those fighting all too similar battles today” – Hilary Rose

“There is something epic about Anna Feigenbaum’s Tear Gas, its scope and intensity, the way that chemistry — the orienting science of the industrial revolution — provides the material to manage that revolution’s epic collapse . . . There is crucial knowledge to be found here.” – Joshua Clover, author of Riot.Strike.Riot

“A passionately argued history of the development and gradual spread of tear gas around the world . . . a clarion call for reassessment of the widespread availability and misuse of tear gas.” – Patrick Wicklen, Researcher on Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International

“Fascinating, deeply researched and lucid . . . We have become so accustomed to the use of tear gas during protests that it comes as a shock when we realize, in reading this book, how little we know about the longer-term effects of what is in some ways a chemical weapon.” – Laleh Khalili, author of Time in the Shadows

About the Author

Anna Feigenbaum is co-author of the book Protest Camps, and her work has appeared in Vice, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, The Guardian, Salon, Financial Times, Open Democracy, New Internationalist, and Waging Nonviolence. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University. Her website is www.annafeigenbaum.com. Follow her on Twitter: @drfigtree.


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